Sunday horse racing tips 29 December – Skelton’s 9/4 chance can land hat-trick of wins at Doncaster
Brian Healy gives his best bets and selections in every UK and Irish horse racing across the UK and Ireland on Sunday.
Christmas week ends with a five-fixture schedule of UK and Irish horse racing meetings, where the day’s jumps racing action comes from the cards at Kelso and Doncaster; while both Limerick and Leopardstown wind up their respective Christmas Festival meetings where the latter meeting boasts a pair of Grade One contests as the curtain falls on another fantastic festive fixture at the premier Irish venue.
Completing the Sunday line-up is an afternoon all-weather fixture on the Southwell fibresand.
Kelso (jumps) – 11.45 – 3.10pm (7 races)
Doncaster (jumps) – 11.55 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Limerick (jumps) – 12.00 – 3.30pm (7 races)
Southwell (flat, aw) – 12.05 – 3.35pm (7 races)
Leopardstown (jumps) – 12.10 – 3.40pm (7 races)
BRIAN HEALY’S NAP OF THE DAY FOR SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER
(12.50) GOLDENCARD (15/8, Coral) found only one too good on his chase debut at Sedgefield last month where he was denied a hat-trick of wins having been beaten just over one length behind Ringaringarosie.
Keith Dalgleish’s charge had earlier posted back-to-back wins here and Musselburgh over hurdles, scoring by a nose on the latest winning occasion from True Romance; and there was a lot to like about his chase debut last time although he perhaps just did too much too soon and faded once headed on the run-in.
His new mark has kicked in which makes life a shade more difficult, but the application of first-time cheekpieces could help him to find improvement and he should build on his chase debut in any case so may well have more to offer in this discipline.
(2.00) DUC DE GRISSAY (4/1, Ladbrokes) has shown some fair form over hurdles, latterly finishing third at Newcastle earlier in the month, but the Denham Red gelding could prove a different proposition now his attentions are switched to chasing.
Sandy Thompson’s charge made the frame in the point-to-point sphere for Donnchadh Doyle prior to joining this yard, and he has shown up well over timber although he may have even more to offer over the larger obstacles.
With the yard in decent form, this doesn’t look the strongest of races in which to make his chase debut, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him going close here.
11.45 – Bright Sideoflife
12.15 – Baby Ticker
12.50 – Goldencard
1.25 – Mario De Pail
2.00 – Duc De Grissay
2.35 – The Crooner
3.10 – Total Assets
(12.25) MAIRE BANRIGH (9/4, William Hill) has been impressive in her two chase starts, scoring readily at Stratford in October and following up with a similarly solid effort from the front at Warwick latest where she beat Thomas Darby by one length.
The King’s Theatre mare took her hurdles form up a notch following a wind operation to strike earlier successes at Market Rasen and Carlisle; but she has improved again for the switch to chasing where she has shown herself to be a bold front-running jumper, and she jumped really well on both her starts over fences.
There is surely better still to come from her, and while she has to give away weight to this field, she remains a very progressive sort who could easily find even more and she can strike again.
(1.35) LA BAGUE AU ROI (11/4, Ladbrokes) won twice in Grade One company last term, and the Doctor Dino can take advantage of the drop in grade to get back on the scoresheet in this latest outing.
Warren Greatrex’s charge won four times in all over fences last term, only meeting with defeat behind Kalashnikov in the Manifesto Chase at Aintree on her final start, and she possibly just needed the run on her reappearance when jumping poorly in the Charlie Hall Chase.
However, she shaped much better with that outing under his belt when posting a good third behind Top Notch in the recent Peterborough Chase, and dropping now into Listed class she ought to make her presence felt and no surprise if she regains the winning trend here.
11.55 – Boss Man Fred
12.25 – Maire Banrigh
1.00 – It Can Be Done
1.35 – La Bague Au Roi
2.10 – Corrany
2.45 – Boldmere
3.20 – Twin Star
(12.35) EDENE D’ARC (SP) was yet to be asked for her effort when departing at the second last on her chase debut at Fairyhouse back in October, and given plenty of time to recover from that mishap she might be able to get off the mark over fences at the second attempt.
Gordon Elliott’s charge had been headed having made the running, but she was still travelling well enough in a decent-looking contest won by Tintangle, and she could do better here if none the worse for that experience.
The winner and third horses home have both won since, and the Maresca Sorrento mare could have scope still to do better. Assuming her fall hasn’t left a mark then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a big effort, and she can go close with a clear round.
(1.45) SURIN (3/1, William Hill) arrives here chasing a hat-trick of wins, having struck successes already this term at Wexford and Naas, and Gordon Elliott’s charge can land her three-timer.
The Authorized filly saw off the reopposing Gardens Of Babylon when landing her latest win, scoring by seven lengths in a first-time tongue-tie although she was getting 7lbs from the runner-up.
She is 3lbs worse off now, but the manner of her win last time and the seven lengths’ winning margin suggests she can confirm the form with a repeat, and the improving sort could have better still to come with conditions ideal so every chance she can collect a third successive win.
12.00 – Arahecan
12.35 – Edene D’arc
1.10 – Young Dev
1.45 – Surin
2.20 – Zambezi Fix
2.55 – Duchess Ravenwares
3.30 – Seskin Flyer
(12.40) ASTROZONE (SP) has made the frame in each of her last four starts, finding only one too good over this course and distance two starts ago when denied by less than one length behind Lilkian, and the Fast Company filly finished third latest at Wolverhampton.
Bryan Smart’s charge was beaten around two lengths on her latest outing, and she could be worth siding with back on this surface where she can compete from the same mark as her near-miss two runs ago.
This doesn’t look a strong contest, and she likely won’t need to improve much if at all to get off the mark.
(2.25) I LOVE YOU BABY (SP) made a decent first impression when beating Qatar Queen by a neck on her debut at Wolverhampton ten days ago, and Michael Appleby’s charge could follow up here.
The Cityscape filly belied her inexperience, where she hung left throughout, to score a shade readily and showing a decent attitude to battle on well for the win, and the front two pulled six lengths clear of the rest.
She is entitled to improve for that first run, and there could be better to come from her if handling this deeper surface; while with the benefit of that run under her belt she can make the most her fitness to double up.
12.05 – Dancing Leopard
12.40 – Astrozone
1.15 – Ollivander
1.50 – Chocoholic
2.25 – I Love You Baby
3.00 – Young Tiger
3.35 – Chinese Alphabet
(12.45) Willie Mullins saddles a couple of interesting contenders in this race, but it could be worth siding with Henry de Bromhead’s COBBLER’S WAY (SP) to get back on the scoresheet having won a Limerick bumper twelve months ago, and the Oscar gelding found only the high-class Andy Dufresne too strong on his hurdles debut at Navan last month.
Although beaten around ten lengths, he in turn finished clear of the rest and the form looks very decent with the winner since making the frame in a Grade Two contest, while the third next time out and also made the frame in a Grade Three contest.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead has won this race three times in recent seasons, but he ought to improve for the experience gained from that first appearance over hurdles and he can go one better here under Rachael Blackmore.
(1.55) Gordon Elliott has won three of the last four renewals of this race, most recently with Delta Work twelve months ago, and a strong renewal of this contest sees a trio of Grade One winning hurdlers lock horns.
Minella Indo won the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and Henry de Bromhead’s charge made a promising start to his chase career behind Laurina; but BATTLEOVERDOYEN (6/4, Coral) is 2-2 over fences, and the Doyen gelding can continue his progression here to make it a hat-trick of wins over fences.
A three-time winner last season in bumpers and hurdles, including the Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas Hurdle, he was disappointingly pulled up in the Ballymore Hurdle at the Festival; but he has bounced back to readily score chase successes at Galway and Punchestown respectively, beating Any Second Now by five lengths to win the Florida Pearl Chase latest.
He looks sure to improve further with this step up likely to suit, and proven in softer conditions he can continue his progression over the larger obstacles to strike again.
12.10 – Onefortheroadtom
12.45 – Cobbler’s Way
1.20 – Elfile
1.55 – Battleoverdoyen
2.30 – Klassical Dream
3.05 – Flooring Porter
3.40 – Eric Bloodaxe
BRIAN HEALY’S BEST BETS FOR SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER
12.25 Doncaster – MAIRE BANRIGH (9/4, William Hill)
12.35 Limerick – EDENE D’ARC (SP)
12.40 Southwell – ASTROZONE (SP)
12.45 Leopardstown – COBBLER’S WAY (SP)
12.50 Kelso – GOLDENCARD (15/8, Coral)
1.35 Doncaster – LA BAGUE AU ROI (11/4, Ladbrokes)
1.45 Limerick – SURIN (3/1, William Hill)
1.55 Leopardstown – BATTLEOVERDOYEN (6/4, Coral)
2.00 Kelso – DUC DE GRISSAY (4/1, Ladbrokes)
2.25 Southwell – I LOVE YOU BABY (SP)